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Edward Grant vs Valery Salov
"Salov into the Sunset" (game of the day May-06-2013)
EU-ch U20 (1983), Groningen NED, rd 1, Dec-20
Sicilian Defense: Paulsen Variation. General (B44)  ·  0-1



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Given 11 times; par: 35 [what's this?]

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sac: 24...Rxh3 PGN: download | view | print Help: general | java-troubleshooting

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Apr-11-05  Cee75: Gypsy:
24. RxH3 25 BF4 RH1+ 26. Ng1 QH5 Instead of NF3.. Probably better move is first b3 to take care of Nb5+ what do you think? Now Black has no options left to finish it off quickly. I agree that ultimately black may win but the game is still ON now!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Gypsy: <┬áCee75 > Definitely an interesting way of mixing things-up; many ways for Black to let advantage disapear. After the <34...Rh3 35.Bf4 Rh1+ 36.Ng1 Qh5> and <37.b3> I'd play <37...Bxf4 (37...Bc5 should also work) 38.Qxf4 Bb5+ 39.c4 dxc4> ... and it looks like Black is breaking through. But the Bf4 defense is clever and Black needs to find many good moves in several long variations. For instance, one possibility is this one: <34...Rh3 35.Bf4 Rh1+ 36.Ng1 Qh5> and <37.Bxd6>, which can continue <Nxd6 38.Rxe8+ Bxe8 39.Qe3 Qh2 40.f3 f4 41.Qf2 (41.Qe6+ is not sufficient) Nc5 42.Re1 (42.Nc2 Bb5) Ne3+ 43.Rxe3 fxe3 44.Qxe3 Bf7 ...> and Black is an exchange up and should win -- but, as you said, it still is a game. (Warning: the variations could easily have errors; there is no sillicon authority behind them.)
Premium Chessgames Member
  LIFE Master AJ: <Gypsy> Keep it up ... and I'll be losing another night of sleep ... Fritzing this game to death.
May-06-13  vinidivici: Good game!
Hope this good GOTD will keep on going.

So the last post should be a compliment.

take care

May-06-13  kevin86: mate will follow nest move by queen or bishop.
Aug-19-17  ChessHigherCat: Lot's of pieces on the board, so a lot of complications. I think the first move is probably 24....f4 to open up the e-file in case the white king gets any bright ideas about escaping to e2. Then I came up with 25. Bxf4 Rxh3 26. g3 Qh5 27. Nh4 Bxf4 28. Qxf4 Rf8 29. Ndf5 Bxf5 30. Nxf5 Rxf5 31. Qb8+ Kh7 32. Rxe4.

Which seems winning, unless something has escaped by all-seeing gaze :-)

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Electric Avenue.
Aug-19-17  ChessHigherCat: Well, having looked at the genuwine "It's all off for Ed" game, it's completely different but my line still seems okay to me. The line I neglected to give last time was if the king really does try to escape to e2:

Rxh3 26. Bxd6 Rh1+ 27. Ke2 Nxd6+ 28. Kd2 Ne4+ 29. Rxe4 Rxd1+ 30. Kxd1 dxe4 31. Nh4 Qg4+ 32. Kc2 Qxh4

Which seems pretty crushing, too, although all-mighty Stockfish, our Piscean Lord and Master, no doubt has a better line.

Aug-19-17  Walter Glattke: 24.-f4 25.Bd2 Ng3+ not 26.fxg3 Bxh3+
27.Kg1 Qxg3# but 26.Kg1 Rxh3 27.gxh3 Ne2+ 28.Kh2 Qh5 29.Ng1 f3+ 30.Bf4 seems only to be black advantage.
Aug-19-17  bubuli55: 24...f4
Aug-19-17  scholes: In one of aronian games, there was a very similar tactics. Black sacrificing something on king side, white king running to queen side but getting stuck. But in his game there was no mate, black moves his pawn on king side while white pieces remain stuck on queen side defending its king.
Aug-19-17  patzer2: Today's Saturday solution 24...Rxh3!! initiates a combination with a familiar, frequently occurring theme in our weekend puzzles -- "demolition of pawn structure."

In this case, after 24...Rxh3!! 25. gxh3 f4! we have a demolition followed by a deflection and clearance tactic.

The threat after 25...f4! is if the Bishop dares to capture or move, it's a simple mate-in-two after 26. Bxf4? (diagram below)

click for larger view

26...Nd2+ 27. Qxd2 Bxh3#


26. Bd2? (diagram below)

click for larger view

26...Nxd2 27. Qxd2 Bxh3#.

After the better reply 26. Ke2, Black manages to win with the clever 26...Ng3+! 27. Kd2? fxe3+ (-6.22 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8.)

However, White can put up more resistance with 26...Ng3+ 27. fxg3 Rxe3+ fxe3 29. g4 (diagram below)

click for larger view

when Black wins with difficulty after 29...Bf4 30. Rd3 h5 31. Rxe3 hxg4 32. hxg4 Bxg4 33. Kf2 Bh5 -+ (-3.16 @ 34 depth, Stockfish 8.)

Seems to me a simpler more direct approach with 26...fxe3 27. Rg1 Qh5 -+ (-4.65 @ 28 depth, Stockfish 8) might be just as strong (or maybe even stronger) as play might continue 28. fxe3 Rf8 29. Kd3 Rxf3 30. Nxf3 Qxf3 (diagram below)

click for larger view

when, after 31. Kc2 Qe2+ 32. Kb1 Bf5 -+ (-6.45 @ 30 depth, Stockfish 8,) Black's minor pieces overwhelm White's position -- a position where the three minor pieces are worth far more than (3x3 =9) 9 points and the two Rooks are worth far less than (2x5 = 10) 10 points.

P.S.: White's decisive mistake appears to be 21. Nbd4? allowing 21...Qg6 -+ (-1.89 @ 30 depth, Stockfish 8.) Instead, 21. Nbd2 ⩱ to = (-0.25 @ 32 depth, Stockfish 8) looks to give White good drawing chances.

Earlier, instead of 16. a3 Bd7 = (0.00 @ 29 depth, Stockfish 8,) White can improve slightly and secure a good game with 16. Ng6 Bxg3 17. fxg3 = to ⩲ (+0.13 @ 30 depth, Stockfish 8.) This sequence (16. Ng6 Bxg3 17. fxg3 (diagram below)

click for larger view

sets a trap hoping for 17...Nxg3?? (better is 17...Nxd4 = to ⩲) 18. Bg5! +- (+4.62 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8.)

Aug-19-17  morfishine: <patzer2> There is no "deflection" tactic present in this combination. You have misused the term "deflection" over the years to the point that lesser players could easily be confused

The key characteristic that defines "deflection" is there is no capture or trade involved: a piece that covers a vital square is forced from defending that vital point, not necessarily captured (hence: deflected)


Aug-19-17  Vermit: My first reaction on seeing the game was that it was some kind of Marshall Counter Gambit. An interesting game - White got all his pieces onto the right squares but then didn't seem to know what to do. While he shuffled his knights around on d4, Black simply piled everything up on the Kingside.
Aug-19-17  patzer2: <morfishine> I try to be precise in my use of the Chess terms, such as "deflection."

Using the definition at your wiki link, <Deflection in chess is a tactic that forces an opposing piece to leave the square, rank or file it occupies, thus exposing the king or a valuable piece.[1]>

With the move 25...f4! (diagram below)

click for larger view

Black it appears to me is creating a decisive deflection threat, as any Bishop move exposes the King to a forced mate-in-two (e.g. 26. Bxf4? Nd2+ 27. Qxd2 Bxh3#.)

The Bishop on e3 is guarding the e-file and preventing mate-in-two. Because of the deflection threat, 26...f4! wins the immobilized Bishop after the best play moves 27. Ke2 fxe3 -+ (-4.35 @ 27 depth, Stockfish 8.)

If you can think of a better term for the move 26...f4!, which mates if the Bishop moves or captures the Bishop with a won position if it stays, other than "deflection," I'm open to suggestions.

P.S.: I classify the overall combination beginning with 24...Rxe3!! as "demolition of pawn structure." Typically these demolition combinations employ a variety of supporting tactics. The deflection threat 26...f4!, which wins the Bishop with decisive effect, is in my view a supporting tactic within the overall demolition combination.

Aug-19-17  agb2002: Black has the bishop pair for a bishop and a knight.

Black has f5 and Rxh3 to start an attack against the white king.

In the case of 24... f4:

A) 25.Bxf4 Rxh3

A.1) 26.gxh3 Bxh3+ 27.Ke2 Ng3+ 28.Kd2 Bxf4#.

A.2) 26.Bxd6 Rh1+

A.2.a) 27.Ng1 Qxd6 with balanced material but with ideas like Qh2 and Bh3 or Bb5+.

A.2.b) 27.Ke2 Nxd6+ wins decisive material (28.Kd2 Nc4#).

B) 25.Bd2 Rxh3 seems to win a pawn at least (26.gxh3 Bxh3+ 27.Ke2 Nxc3#).

I don't have time for more.

Aug-19-17  morfishine: <patzer2> 24...f4 is a simple direct assault, that if anything, is a 'remove the defender' tactic, no deflection here

This game below has a whole slew of deflections starting with <18.Qg4> focusing on Black's weak back rank, the point being that Black's Queen is tied to defending <e8> at all costs. The Black Queen is mercilessly "deflected" to the point that <e8> is no longer defensible: E Z Adams vs Carlos Torre, 1920

Although this game has been accused of being composed, I find it highly instructive

Do you see the difference between the deflection tactics displayed here vs simple captures and headlong assaults on misplaced pieces?


Aug-19-17  drollere: the importance of g2 and the liberating effect of f4 come into view quickly, and white's Qc1 implies f4 was on the top of his mind. the problem is orchestrating the moves to produce an inroad.

26. Ke2 seems intended to avoid the mate after Bxf4, Nd2+, but puts the K under a discovered check and pin on the QB.

after Ng3+, pxg3, Rxe3+ leads to mate or loss of the Q for R and N, which might have been better than what followed.

Aug-19-17  BxChess: I went with 24 ...f4 25 Bxf4 Rxh3. Rybka marginally prefers 24...f4 over 24...Rxh3. Its line is 24...f4 25.Bxf4 Bxh3 26.gxh3 Rxh3 27.Be3 Qh5 28.Ke2 Nxf2 29.Kd2 Rxf3 30.Nxf3 Qxf3 31.Kc2
Aug-19-17  ChessHigherCat: <BxChess: I went with 24 ...f4 25 Bxf4 Rxh3. Rybka marginally prefers 24...f4 over 24...Rxh3.>

Glad to hear it. I have to admit <Patzer 2> got on my nerves with his pompous declaration "Today's solution 24...Rh3!!!" hours after I had already posted my line beginning with 24...f4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: That seems like a clear deflection to me. White would like to keep his bishop on e3 to provide a defensive shield so his king can run to the relative safety of the queenside.

With f4 (whenever it gets played), black forces white to move his bishop away from e3. White can choose between Bxf4 or Bd2 or losing his bishop. Either way the bishop has been deflected from his defensive post on e3.

I'm on holiday (in the US to watch the eclipse), so I dont have Fritz at the moment. But in human mode I wibbled between the immediate 24...f4 intending Rxh3/Bxh3 or 24...Rxh3 intending Bxh3 and f4. In either case, I was happy that Rxh3 is the breakthrough move and that f4 was needed to deflect the Be3 away from covering the white king's escape route.

Chess terms are notoriously imprecise, but I think that a move which deflects a piece can safely be called a deflection.

Aug-20-17  patzer2: <morfishine: <patzer2> <24...f4 is a simple direct assault, that if anything, is a 'remove the defender' tactic, no deflection here>

I assume you mean 25...f4 and not <24...f4.> What you term "remove the defender" is often referred to in books and articles on the subject of Chess tactics as "removing the guard."

University of Texas Law Professor Ward Farnsworth, in his online book on chess tactics at, concludes that the term "removing the guard" encompasses the term "deflection."

Also, the Wikipedia description of "deflection" is not the only accepted definition of the term. Chess.Com, which operates a highly popular Chess tactics trainer, in its descriptive article at says <Deflection is a tactic which distracts an opponent's piece from doing its job, such as defending an important square, pinning a piece or blocking an open file or diagonal.>

Surely 25...f4! "distracts" the Bishop from doing its job of defending the e-file and the weakened King position, as 26. Bxf4?? Nd2+ 27. Qxd2 Bxh3# or 26. Ke2 fxe3 -+ both leave White with a lost position.

P.S.: Not familiar with <simple direct assault> as a term for a Chess tactic. However, Chess Tempo, which runs another popular online tactics trainer has a category of tactics called <mate threat> which they define at as a situation where <The opponent loses material due to having to protect their king from being mated. This should not be applied to problems where the king is actually mated, and should not apply to weak back rank problems which are a special case of this motif.>

Perhaps 25...f4!, which creates a mate threat that loses material for White and provides a winning position for Black after 26. Ke2 fxe3 27. Rg1 Qh5 -+ (-4.65 @ 28 depth, Stockfish 8), best fits this category.

Aug-20-17  patzer2: <Once> Appreciate the support. However, after 25...f4! White is not forced to do anything with the Bishop as moving it leads to mate-in-two. So losing with 26. Ke2 fxe3 -+ is a relatively better option for White.

That's the crux of <morfishine>'s argument. If a deflection is a tactic that forces a piece to move, and 25...f4! doesn't force the Bishop off of e3, then it's not a deflection.

My counter argument is as you note, <Chess terms are notoriously imprecise,> and some (though admittedly not most) definitions of the term deflection do not actually require the piece under attack to actually move but merely to be "distracted" (e.g. submit to being captured) in performing its defensive duties.

In retrospect, to avoid contusion, I should have simply said 25...f4! creates a decisive dual threat of mate or the capture of material with a winning position.

Aug-20-17  patzer2: <chesshighercat> Please don't think me pompous for saying 24...Rh3!! is the winning move.

I too picked 24...f4!! (-3.29 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8) for my solution, but didn't take the time to provide analysis of it as Stockfish 8 rates 24...Rh3!! (-4.28 @ 31 depth, Stockfish 8) as stronger.

However, there's no doubt both moves, with strong follow-up, are clearly winning. So congratulations on solving a difficult Saturday puzzle.

Aug-20-17  morfishine: <Once> & <patzer2> Sorry, this is not a 'deflection'

I would welcome a neutral expert party to cast their opinion on the matter since its important to me that young chess enthusiasts do not become confused by inaccurate analysis


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